Opinions and advice wanted...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by cwb141, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. cwb141

    cwb141Valued MemberMember


    Hey, if you have any opinions or advice to give me please leave a comment. This is pretty long but I separated it into categories. If you have experience with these please recommend what you would do.

    I have a 29 gallon semi-planted tank right now and I am going to buy a 75 gallon tank on December 5th. The topics I want to learn more about are aquascaping, hoods, lighting, conditioners, substrates, plants, water testing kits, air pumps and heating.

    Aquascaping: I plan to build a staggered ridge on one side with substrates on it so that I can plant along the separate levels. I'll probably pit it in a corner and cover most of the side wall. Something around 1 foot tall and 6-8 inches wide. I'm wondering what I should use as a frame for that. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could use for that?

    Hoods: The hood I'm planning on getting is a glass hood. Do you think glass is a good choice? Can you recommend any hoods that fit a 75g tank? Any that will work well with an Eclipse filter system?

    Lighting: Should I get a light fixture that is one continuous tube or is it better to have a dual light system? What is the best type of lighting for a fully planted tank? Brands and models?

    Conditioners: So, the nitrogen cycle... I obviously will aquascape the tank before adding water, but once I do are there certain conditioners I should use to help that along? How about after the cycle is complete? Is Flourish Excel a good plant conditioner? What should I use once I add fish? (tetras, loaches, rainbow shark)

    Substrates: Will use medium gravel on bottom layer, then a mix of fine gravel and something like Eco-Complete. Where can I purchase these for a great deal? Online? Is Eco-Complete the most trustworthy product?

    Plants: I want to carpet the bottom, not completely, and want to know what good plants for that are. I would prefer to mix them together and not have just one species. Are there dark green plants that can be used for carpeting? What are some tall growing, medium leaf size, tree-looking plants?

    Water Testing Kits: Is there a system out there that connects directly to the tank water? In tank pH monitor? Other monitors?

    Air/CO2 Pumps: I don't have an air pump in my current tank because it is small enough and gets enough bubbles swirled about from the filter. What is a good air pump, is it necessary? What about CO2? If I have a fully planted tank I'm worried about getting enough CO2 to the plants. What are optimum levels for these? Is there a monitor/test for these?

    Heating: I'm worried about losing heat to my tank. The first tank I had died because the heater failed while I was on vacation and I came home to an unpleasant sight. I know there are heaters that can run a large tank but should I buy two medium heaters? What's a reliable brand?

    Thanks for any and all comments, advice, recommendations, etc. I really appreciate the opinions I've read on this site thus far because, while no two tanks are alike, there is a desirable spectrum to fall into. I'm just hoping I can get my new tank to stay in the blue.

    Project Page: https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/members-fish-tanks/58826-aquascape-project.html
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  2. clickWell Known MemberMember

    Well, the first thing I would not do is open the same thread in multiple areas of the forums. You will get replies all over the place and it will be hard both for you and the people who want to help to keep track of suggestions :rolleyes:

    For plants I would recommend to decide what type of plants you want in your tank (low,medium or high light). That will help you decide what type of light to purchase. You can go   and look at plants divided by the categories I mentioned. The also have great advices on plant maintenance.

    i will let others help you in the topics since I'm not very experienced with your other areas of concerns. :;thGood luck on your project.
  3. fishingman001

    fishingman001Well Known MemberMember

    I have seen monitors than go on the inside of your tank and monitor the ph and ammonia. Other than that you can get an API Master Test Kit to test for the rest.

    with a tank that big, multiple heaters will be better. Marineland Visi-Therm heaters are pretty good IMO.

    That is my 2 cents. The members on this forum can help you with the other sections. Good Luck!

  4. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi cwb, your duplicate threads have been deleted. It's not necessary to post the same questions in multiple forums.
    It's easier for the members to keep track of whats already been suggested and for you to keep track of the answers if they're all in one place.

    Good luck with your tank. :)

  5. OP

    cwb141Valued MemberMember

    My bad...
  6. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    Depending on which brand tank you have you can get the glass hoods for a decent price. My 75G has three sections. Dr. Foster and Smith had the best price on the glass hood for my tank. Measure each opening on the top of your tank and search that way.
  7. OP

    cwb141Valued MemberMember

    Well... It appears I'll have to google my way through this one. So much for getting any advice.

    If I can't post a thread under multiple categories than how am I supposed to get any help? Can you move this to freshwater tank equipment? I doubt I'll get advice when this is only a beginner's category.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2009
  8. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    You didn't even wait 24 hours for people to respond. And on a holiday on top of that, many people may not be on until Monday.

    I don't know for sure but many may not respond with that attitude. You are not getting the tank until Dec. 5th, so whats the rush. Maybe you doing the research yourself until others come along to help isn't such a bad idea anyways....

  9. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Most of your questions in your OP are a personal choice...so you can get 100s of different answers but I agree, google will be your best friend~!

    "so much for getting any advice" does this mean you want members to do the work for you? :;dk that wasnt very nice :anim_35:
    Ill move this thread now to the fw equiptment area :)
  10. clickWell Known MemberMember

    I think you over-react a little. You post a loong thread with a lot of questions an you want all of the answered in less than 24h (and over a holiday). A little patience might get you a long way.

    You took the words out of my mouth.
  11. OP

    cwb141Valued MemberMember

    the fact that only 3 people commented when over 70 people had viewed is not reason to believe I won't get more responses? I got more responses by posting about not getting responses. This is why I am frustrated.

    "So much for getting any advice" regardless of what people tell me on here I am still going to do my research and make a decision based on what I feel is best. Sometimes it's nice to have someone with experience give me their two cents.

    Since when did hobbyists feel like they were doing the work when someone asked for their opinion? I'm sorry if you feel that I am just asking for advice so I don't have to do anything.

    Not you specifically, but anyone who feels that is what I am doing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2009
  12. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    I understand the frustration of no answers or advice...it happens in allot of other threads..but thats still doesnt give you a right to be rude....:(
  13. kacieValued MemberMember

    Hi lets go back to some of your original questions. I think eco-complete alone works great but if you want fish that need sand, that may not work. A carpeting plant usually needs med to high light so you would need bulbs which would give you more watts per gallon. I am not being super clear but I think there is a problem with a low-tech planted tank that has medium light (like mine) it is hard to control the algae. I have 2x65 watt coralife bulbs on my 55g. Which gives me 130watts for 55g which equals more than 2 watts per gallon. More ideal would be their 55 watt bulbs. Heavily plant from the begining. I would recommend going to aquabid for plant packages. Or if you wanted to pay more and get good advice some online plant stores will advise you and pick out your plants to match your setup.

    The reason i didn't answer your post earlier is because your questions were hard to answer.
  14. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello CWB. As for the in tank monitors...I use the SeaChem Ammonia Alert. I place one in my tank and one in my filter and I've found them to be very helpful. Some have not. I also have the API (liquid) Master Test Kit as a back up. I wouldn't recommend using the "in tank" monitors as my only source for chemistry readings. Too, I'v considered getting the SeaChem pH monitor as well but I'm afraid it would be too hard for me to distinguish between the colors provided on the monitor.
    the above link will take you to the monitor that I do use.
    Best of luck!
  15. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    good Luck
  16. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Comments in red. Good luck! :)
  17. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    In answer to a couple of your questions:
    EcoComplete is my favorite substrate. No rinsing, it grows plants wonderfully I prefer using it without mixing it with anything else. If you do mix it, it's likely to separate itself with the gravel at the bottom.
    Wisteria is a tallish plant that grows very tree-like.
    Check Drs. Foster and Smith ( ) for automatic testing equipment. It exists, but it's expensive... really expensive. I could easily set up a mid-size tank for the cost of some of that equipment.
    Lighting for planted tanks depends on a number of things. The primary concern is Watts of light per gallon (wpg). (The technical concern is lumens per gallon, but that's harder to deal with because not all fixtures tell you the lumens). 1wpg is considered pretty good for low-light plants. 2wpg is good for moderate light plants. 3wpg is good for high-light plants. The plantgeek website has an excellent listing of plants and their light requirements.
    So if you're looking at a 75g tank, you're going to be wanting about 150 watts of light for a wide range of plants. You can probably do this with T5, High-Output fixtures, or perhaps with compact fluorescents. If you wanted high-light plants, you'd likely need to go with metal halide lamps.

    3 posts in 70 views? A bit of an exaggeration, as I'm looking at the thread now, and it has 16 responses with 67 views (at least two of which are mine). Still, with a thread like this: Not bad. Not everyone has the answer to everything, but many people will look at a thread to see if they can answer a question.

    As far as getting more responses by complaining about not getting responses, while not everyone can answer your questions, most people (on any forum, not just this forum) think of it as kind of bad netiquette to complain about such things, and will speak up about it.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  18. OP

    cwb141Valued MemberMember

    I guess looking at in tank monitors is useful only for ammonia. I ues an API kit as well. The watts per gallon ratio means I should have around 150 watts total for a planted tank. I'll look into low light plants as well, and shorter varieties instead of carpeting. Eco-complete seems to be the most trusted name out there, or at least the most recommended. I started my last tank out w/o fish, conditioners, or decomposing material. I think I'll plan on using the decomposing material and maybe tetra safe.

    I'm buying a glass 75g tank with a glass hood for just under $200. There's an after thanksgiving sale going on.

    The filter is an emperor, not eclipse.

    Shawnie, I have a Visa-Therm Stealth heater, but Marineland makes one as well. Which one do you use?

    I'll need 3-4 bags of eco-complete, is the market price of $20 a good deal?

    There were over 70 views before the thread was moved (my thanks to whoever did that). The view count restarted.
  19. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    I use both ...some tanks have stealth others have marineland and some have tetra brands...I have no problems with any of them

    20 is the going rate around me for ecco complete

    moving a thread does not lower the count unless all the therad comments werent moved.
  20. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I would go with 4 bags of Eco. I used 60 lbs. for a 55 gallon (48x13 footprint, you have a 48x18 footprint).

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice